In 1909, Marenghi in Paris built a huge 112-key organ for the Keizerhof
dance hall in Antwerp, Belgium. A big fire in 1928 destroyed the
fairground collection of the Dutch showman Kunkels, so he had to order
a new organ. He bought the Marenghi and had it completely rebuilt by
Carl Frei in Breda.
It became one of his biggest organs, with more than 800 pipes. A new
Art Deco facade was ordered from Pol Daelmans of Antwerp, who designed
nearly all the facades for the Mortier factory.
After the Second World War the organ had suffered severe damage from
grenade attacks and water damage. In 1958 a group of volunteers from
Haarlem, Netherlands, were looking for an organ to rescue and were
advised to see this one. They came to an agreement and the organ was
restored over the next four years. Since 1969 the organ is the
showpiece of the Haarlem Organ Museum.
After a restoration within the past few years, a CD has been released,
produced by the KDV. The organ plays a nice selection of the original
Carl Frei music which was delivered with the organ, and some new
arrangements by Tom Meijer and myself. We are very proud with the
quality of the CD.
More information on the organ, the other organs in the collection of
the museum and how to order the CD can be found on the web site of the
Jan Kees de Ruijter